Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with the Use of Formal and Informal Support Networks among Elderly Canadians

Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with the Use of Formal and Informal Support Networks among Elderly Canadians

Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with the Use of Formal and Informal Support Networks among Elderly Canadians

Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with the Use of Formal and Informal Support Networks among Elderly Canadianss

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1. Objectifs


Intentions :
« Keeping in mind [...] changes affecting the family structure within an aging population, the objective of this article is to identify factors associated with the use of different networks (informal, formal, or both) among the disabled elderly population living in private households. » (p. 288)

Questions/Hypothèses :
« We hypothesize that characteristics related to the family environment of elderly people in need of assistance will be strongly associated with the use of specific sources of assistance. For example, those living alone, with no surviving children and no surviving siblings should have a higher probability of using only formal assistance. Conversely, those with an extended family network should rely more heavily on their informal network. Because of this, we hypothesize that the shrinking family network should, other things being equal, increase the demand for formal home care services. » (p. 291)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
« The data used for this study come from Statistics Canada General Social Survey, Cycle 11 : Social and Community Support. [...] For the purposes of this study, we examine information on people aged 65 and older who received assistance because of long-term health problems for at least one of the four activities mentioned [everyday housework, shopping for groceries, meal preparation, and personal care. ...] In total, 1380 older persons (20% of the elderly population living in private households) received assistance in performing at least one of the activities considered in this study. Because of missing data on some of the independent variables, the sample utilized was reduced to 1143 cases. » (pp. 289-290)

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


« It is clear from our study that demographic trends will have an impact on the use of formal home care services. A decline in fertility affects the extent and the nature of our immediate social environment. With a total fertility rate well below replacement level, the baby boom generations will reach old age with fewer children to provide them with assistance when needed. In view of our results however, it seems that there are no significant differences between having one surviving child and having at least two. A decline in fertility accompanied by an increase in the proportion of women having no children should have a much stronger effect on the use of formal services compared to a decline in fertility mostly related to an important drop in the proportion of women having more than two children. » (pp. 300-301)
« This study demonstrates the need for a better understanding of the factors underlying the use of different sources of home care services. When solely considering the changing nature and extent of the informal network, the results point to a relative increase in the demand for formal home care services in the future. This increase demand will either be met by an increase in the provision of services by government agencies or by the private sector. Expenditures related to home care services, either public, private, or both, will undoubtedly increase with population aging. Policy makers will have to decide how best to serve the disabled population, especially the oldest-old, so that their needs for assistance will be met. A better understanding of the nature, extent, and availability of the informal network as the population ages will assist in addressing this issue. » (p. 302)